It has taken me awhile to feel like I could write about this play. The Wedding Party is deliciously fun, tears in your eyes, gut-hurt funny. This isn't the reason it took me so long. In the days following my attendance at this hilarious, intelligent, beautifully written and expertly performed production, it felt as though the world was falling apart. Trump began a daily barrage of executive orders that upended what we think about human decency and caring for others. In the face of this, how could I reconcile a play that was by contrast, seemingly so light in subject and tone?
It came to me the other night, however, on one of my late night dog-walks, seeing people come out of the theatre with huge smiles on their faces (I live upstairs of The Crowsnest). Seeing those faces of pure joy as they walked toward their cars or transit. Hearing them recalling favourite moments, that they'll "never look at a dog in the same way" or "windbreaker of lies" followed by shared laughter, it occurred to me that the point of this kind of play is to be a release. A release from the drudgery, the sadness, the despair. And it is so utterly necessary sometimes to just laugh. To laugh at the idiosyncrasies of an elderly grandmother, or a young boy, or hilarious twin brothers with opposing personalities. To laugh when we see ourselves, our own humanity in these people.
This post is less about the production (which is fantastic, and I 100% recommend to anyone, anywhere) but rather about why this sort of play, which might feel frivolous in these times, is still important. We still need to laugh. To laugh is to remind us of our humanity.
Also, seeing Tom Rooney in a scene with himself is something that everyone should experience.